Continental TKC 70 Rocks review, does it rock?

Last Updated on: October 23, 2023

Continental TKC 70 Rocks came out, think it was early 2020. A more aggressive, offroad oriented version than TKC70. I decided to try it. 

Prices on motorcycle tires were crazy in 2022. Especially in Norway. So much so that I had a little shock when I got the bill on the new Continental set. And especially TKC70 Rocks. Insane price, but was it even worth half the money?

Tire nerds, here are detailed facts. Most of you probably know all of that already.

TKC 70 Rocks is a rear tire only. Continental’s idea is that you pair it either with TKC70 or TKC80 front tire. Or something else. I have quite a bit of experience with TKC70. On my motorcycle that is.

I know a great deal about how TKC 70 performs on the KTM 1290 Super Adventure S. Not on something else. Size, weight, wheel dimensions, and so forth, there are many factors and variables.

Continental TKC 70 Rocks

Continental TKC 70 Rocks brand new

Continental TKC 70 Rocks, first impression

As I rolled away from the dealer it quickly became obvious this was way more offroad oriented than TKC70 standard. Could hear a low, but not too annoying hum, or singing, through my earplugs. Despite the somewhat aggressive pattern, not bad. I’ve had far more noisy tires.

When new it’s pretty smooth, even at low speeds. It felt and feels a bit softer than TKC70 standard. As a result I did not expect it would last as long. It didn’t. For the first days I did mostly pavement riding. The grip was very good. And it felt a lot more stable than the standard TKC70, which to me was variably wayward’ish. Most when new, waning when older and more used.

Over the course of the next few days my confidence in TKC70 Rocks grew. Taking sharp corners at (relatively) high speeds wasn’t a problem. It stuck like glue! Rough pavement, fine pavement, smooth surfaces, bumpy surfaces with holes, nothing seemed to change the behaviour.

Continental TKC 70 Rocks on dirt

Continental TKC 70 Rocks on dirt & sandy roads

On gravel & dirt

The real acid test came a week or two later. First real trial on loose dirt and sandy roads. It quickly developed into a pretty hysterical experience. Too much fun. With confidence sky high, maybe too high. But I am pretty sensible. I know my limits, well, sort of.

Golsfjellet, Norway

Riding on various gravel surfaces on Golsfjellet, Norway

The initial dirt road impression continued over onto different types of gravel. From the fine to the rough, and even rocks mixed into sand. Plus more offroad biased. Deep sand too. The rear did the job, considerably better than the standard TKC70.

A favourite riding area

A favourite riding area, with multiple types of roads (plus offroad)

Yes Continental TKC 70 rocks, but…

The first few months was a joy. But as any rider knows, there is a threshold. When you pass that threshold your rubber succumbs to the reality of wear and tear. And we know what that might do, to riding experience and/or confidence.

So what are the downsides? Well for one thing, quite opposite to the standard TKC 70, the Rocks variant does not last as long. Especially not if you ride a lot on what it’s made for. And do a fair bit of active riding. Around 5000 kilometers it clearly had degraded. Wasn’t quite as fun anymore. And the next was noise. Considerably more noticeable.

River crossing in Ådal

On the way out after hours of fun in the woods.

This had nothing to do with my earplugs of course. It had everything to do with the tire. I don’t remember exactly, but think I swapped them out at around 7000 kilometers. The rear was on overtime by then.

Conclusion

I think TKC 70 Rocks is a good tire. But let me put it this way; for the money, at least in my market, it is, or rather was, expensive fun. 2022 was not a good year price-wise. Also, the fun doesn’t last very long. This tire does not degrade quite as gracefully as other tires do. It also squares quite a bit.

However, I never got the “Flintstone effect” I’ve had with Karoo 3. During the later part of the lifecycle. Which reminds me I’ve not updated that post. Yet. Karoo 3 definitely is more of a 50/50, maybe 45/55 tire.

Do I regret the choice? Not at all. I live to experience, try new things. You only know what you know yourself. if you decide to go for it, you will have fun. In the beginning. Don’t expect the pleasantness to last very long. And don’t expect the tire to last, very long.

However, maybe it will last longer for you. Again. riding style, speeds. use, surfaces, weight, so many factors involved. I don’t see myself buying it again any time soon.


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